Kill the Sister

When Your Editor Tells You There Are One Too Many Siblings

deadstickThe further I get into the writing process of my novel, CHASING CRAZY, the further away I am from being finished.

Let that resonate. Feel free to read it again—I’ll wait.

I wrote down the first words for CHASING CRAZY on August 25, 2013. As I began writing, I questioned whether I wanted to keep this venture to myself or share my quest with everyone within earshot. Wouldn’t be great to just present a finished novel to the world, and have them go, “Oh my god, you wrote a novel?” But I decided to announce my writing intentions as a check and balance, believing that if I told the world that I was writing a novel, I better damn well do it.

So I did.

The downside to that logic is I had never written a novel and knew absolutely nothing about what goes into the process, thinking sweetly that my editor would look over my first draft and fix a few typos. I envisioned her saying, “It’s incredible, darling! This book will be a best seller!”

But the reality is a long road of new characters, deleted chapters and new directions. What started out as a memoir turned into a novel, and the reality is, a tight storyline means less characters. Translation—my editor informing me that, “You need to lose a sibling.” Which, if you have a sibling or two (or four), is the equivalent of being told that you need to cut off your arm. I balked at this suggestion for over a year as I rewrote and reworked the storyline.

But today, I killed a sibling. I didn’t actually kill the kid. I simply (literally) erased the poor child from the pages of my novel—nothing personal. The editor made me do it. With eyes now wide open, I continue to rework, delete and rewrite. CHASING CRAZY is not a great novel yet, but it will be.

Stay tuned…